11 September 2009

Boston for my Birthday


The first time I went to Boston I fell in love with the city. The second time, the sparks were still flying. I went for the third time over Labor Day weekend - to celebrate my birthday - and I am still head over heels for Beantown.

Make way...

We stayed in a big, old, swanky hotel situated just one block from the Public Garden (and the Mallard family). From this locale we were privy to all sorts of marvelous everyday things. We enjoyed the Garden and the Common, Beacon Hill and Back Bay, and the T took us everywhere we wanted to be.

The salt box birthplace of John Adams, 2nd president of the United States.

Such as Quincy, for instance. Like so many other fans of Paul Giamatti--er, uh John Adams--we wanted to see the Adams' old stomping grounds. So we hopped on the T and rode out to Quincy and got on a tour right away (despite the brochure's warning that the popularity of the HBO series may result in a one or two hour wait). We saw the birth places of both the 2nd and 6th presidents - as well as their crypts at the church on Hancock street. And we saw Peacefield and the John Adams library.

Sergio at bay

After our delightful history lesson at the Adams' homes, courtesy of the National Parks Department, we wanted to go down to the bay - about a 30-minute walk, or so Edna at the Adams Visitors Center told us after she asked us if we had a "cah." So we walked to the water and it turned out to be a full hour on foot, just so you know. But was well worth it, I think, to get to see and enjoy the water, always of interest to those of us land-locked.

The Freedom Trail

As if we hadn't had enough walking in Quincy, the next day we did the Freedom Trail - a walking tour of Boston spanning a full 2.5 miles and marked with a red stripe throughout. We took a guided tour from the Boston Common to Fanueil Hall and our guide's persona was "Mr. Lou," an 18th century son of slaves who had bought their freedom. "Mr. Lou" was full of knowledge and mildly inappropriate remarks - he was a great tour guide.

Mr. Lou at Granary burial ground

A little extra luck alighted on a tombstone at the burial ground.

Fauniel Hall - is this a cricket or a grasshopper?


The icing on the cake of this perfect birthday trip, was the chance to see friends. While we were planning a Boston vacation, our DC-based dear friends from college were planning the next phase in their advanced degree pursuits - which just happened to place them both in Boston for the month of September. I couldn't imagine a more delightful way to celebrate in a city I love, than to meet up with Ken and Linz, who know our names and are always glad we came.

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